Startup Corner: Online vetted lawyer network Priori Legal hits the West Coast
Insider associate editor Caroline Hill reports…
After experiencing “rapid growth” in New York last year, virtual contract lawyer network Priori Legal just announced it is expanding into San Francisco and Los Angeles.
An online platform that connects small businesses with a vetted network of lawyers, Priori offers its customers a 25% discount on the headline rates of participating advisers. In exchange for the discount, Priori provides discrete marketing and billing and invoice services in relation to matters won through the network. Priori also charges small business users a 10% management fee, meaning the final saving amounts to 15%.
According to chief executive officer and co-founder Basha Frost Rubin, who launched Priori last year with fellow Yale Law School graduate Mirra Levitt, law firms in the network vary from “sole practitioners up to firms of between 75 to 100 lawyers.”
The fledgling organisation has built its own billing system under which it will invoice, collect payment and chase up unpaid bills. Frost Rubin said: “Eighty percent of small law firms have outstanding invoices 30 days or more overdue. We send out the invoices, collect payment and people have to have a credit card to use the site.”
She added: “We work extremely hard to come up with the packages and in the contract law firms are obliged to give a 25% discount.”
The company declined to reveal how many law firms it has on its books so far or how many businesses, however Frost Rubin said the numbers are “increasing rapidly”, and indicated that the number is “in the hundreds.”
“Our goal is to transform the interaction between small businesses and lawyers by bringing transparency and simplicity to how businesses use legal services,” said Frost Rubin. “Expanding our online marketplace to San Francisco and Los Angeles will provide these two major hubs for small business with access to top attorneys on the West Coast.”